WHY WE CHOSE A TOY HAULER FOR OUR NEXT FULL-TIME RV
May 26, 2020
This past winter we spent two months traveling around Arizona in our truck camper. When the weather was good, we couldn’t have been happier. But on the days when the weather left us no other choice than to hide out in the camper, we were reminded just how small of a space it really is. The wind was relentless for the couple of weeks that we spent in my hometown of Lake Havasu City, making the bright sunny days nothing but a tease…until we discovered the beauty of a toy hauler.
If you’re not familiar, a toy hauler is basically a hybrid of a cargo trailer and a travel trailer. They typically have living quarters (kitchen, bathroom, beds and a seating area) with furniture that folds up and allows your “toy” of choice to be parked inside (ie: a quad, motorcycle, side by side, etc.). My dad generously bought a toy hauler last year for everyone in the family to share. He didn’t intend to put a toy in it, he simply wanted to be able to park it at the lake and have a giant back door to open up to the view.
A genius idea in my eyes. How had I never thought of this?
In February, during our stay, when the wind just wouldn’t quit, we tested a theory. If the toy hauler was parked so that the back door was pointed away from the wind, could we open it and enjoy the sunshine without getting subjected to the wind?
I was able to sit inside the trailer with the back door open, be in the sun but out of the wind. This was paradise for me. Had we not had our utility trailer with us, I probably would have just stolen the toy hauler from my dad right then and there. (just kidding, love you dad)
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when we made the decision to return to full-time RV living. The very first question that came up was “What kind of trailer do we want?”. In 2017/18, when we were last on the road full-time, we kept our Four Wheel Camper for use as a bedroom and added a 17’ fiberglass Casita for our living quarters. It worked great, however, by the end of that year, it was starting to feel really, really tiny. We would hit our head all the time, there was hardly any room to cook, the wet bath (that was barely big enough to stand in) became tiresome, and I was really longing for a couch, rather than just the dinette that we had. More than all of that though, was the fact that when you were inside, you felt really closed off from the outdoors. So although the Casita served us well, we knew we wanted to go an entirely different direction when it came to our next full-time rig.
As well as wanting more space, we’re also interested in changing our travel style this time around. With the Casita we moved spots every 7 days or less. The decision fatigue was real. Deciding where to stay, what route to take, where to restock, as well as constantly checking the weather, making reservations, etc was all-consuming. This time around we’d like to spend less time planning and more time simply living and experiencing our surroundings. We intend to take advantage of the 14 day stays allowed on public lands, reserve sites at RV parks for a month or two (which is cheaper than a nightly rate) and stay with friends and family for extended periods when possible. The beauty of keeping our Four Wheel Camper is that it can continue to serve as our second home, allowing us to take camping adventures to places a trailer can’t get to, while our trailer is tucked in and hooked up at an RV park.
With these things in mind, we weren’t afraid to look for a larger RV.
What I’ve learned about RVing the last few years is that when you’re driving you want the smallest RV possible and when you’re parked you want the largest RV possible. So deciding whether you’ll be driving more or parked more, is the first step to choosing an RV size that will be most comfortable.
As soon as we started talking about what would be next for us, the clear choice was a toy hauler. My experience this past winter had a huge impact on me. I live for fresh air, big windows, natural light and an environment that brings the outdoors in. The way the door of a toy hauler can open an entire wall of the RV to the outside is magical. And it turns out the door isn’t the only thing to love. Overall, toy haulers are far more spacious than traditional travel trailers thanks to the way the beds raise and stow against the ceiling. The bed is what consumes the largest amount of square footage in an RV so being able to stow it out of sight and mind when not in use is a huge advantage. Not only that but the ceilings are taller than other RVs in order to fit a toy inside, making it feel like a much larger space than it actually is.
We are super pumped to try something entirely different. After owning three previous trailers, we know there is no such thing as the perfect rig. That fact takes the pressure off and allows us the freedom to try something new. I can’t wait to put our ideas to the test and see how we like it vs. our previous set-ups.
After deciding that a toy hauler was definitely the route we wanted to go, Mark began researching brands, floorplans and specs. It didn’t take him long to narrow in on a make and model that looked most suited to our needs and desires. We then settled in to the idea that it may take a little while for a used one to come up for sale. Low and behold, only about a week in to our search, we found what we were looking for. Stay tuned for the next post to see our new home!